Saudi daily Arab News reported that the Association for Consumer Protection has urged authorities to open Saudi skies to Gulf airline companies. This will help meet the growing domestic flight requirement.Nasser Ibrahim Al-Tuwaim, Acting Chairman of the Association and Secretary of the Executive Council, said the move was necessary to break the monopoly of Saudi Arabian Airlines on domestic flights.
"Saudi Arabia is a vast country. Saudi Arabian Airlines alone will not be able to meet its growing passenger requirements. So we demand airline companies in the Gulf be allowed to operate domestic flights," he said.
Saudi Arabia has a population of nearly 30 million including some 8.5 million foreign workers and their families. Saudi Arabian Airlines is the main carrier serving domestic destinations along with Nasair, a private airline.
At present other Gulf airlines such as Qatar Airways, Emirates, Gulf Air, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Bahrain Air, Oman Air and Air Arabia are not allowed to operate domestic flights in the Kingdom.
Al-Tuwaim said his organization has been calling for opening up the Kingdom's skies to foreign airlines to break the monopoly and benefit passengers. "We demand the end of monopoly in all products and services including food and medicine," he added.
The Chairman called on Saudis to join the association to strengthen its mission. "We have adopted three main methods to fight increasing prices: take customers' grievances to officials, demand an end to monopoly of products and services and expand our membership."
He said Prince Muhammad bin Saud bin Naif, a graduate of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, has agreed to become the association's Honorary President.
Source: Arab News